Elma’s girls built some momentum last week, defeating Hoquiam and Forks.
Elma’s girls found their customary transition game long enough in the third quarter to fend off Hoquiam’s upset bid.
Closing out the third period with 13 successive points, the Eagles went on to beat the Grizzlies, 40-25, in an Evergreen 1A League girls basketball game Friday, Jan. 6, at Hoquiam Square Garden.
Sophomore post Molly Johnston, the only player on either team to reach double figures, paced the Eagles with 13 points.
Impressive with their traditional running game in a blowout victory over Forks earlier in the week, the Eagles (2-0, 6-6) struggled mightily in their half-court offense against a predominantly man-to-man Hoquiam defense.
The Grizzlies (0-2, 4-8) also held their own in rebounding. But they were undone by two season-long maladies — cold shooting and a penchant for fouling.
Hoquiam hit only 17 percent from the field. At that, Elma owned just an 11-10 edge in field goals, but outscored the Grizzlies 17-4 from the foul line.
Up 15-10 following a turnover-laden first half, the Eagles went scoreless for the first 4 1/2 minutes of the third quarter. It typified the defensive nature of this contest, however, that the Grizzlies mustered only Casey Mode’s traditional three-point play during this span and never drew even.
With sophomore Kassedy Olson and freshman Kayli Johnson providing some energy off the bench, the Eagles then began forcing turnovers with a trapping defense.
“They changed the intensity of the game,” Elma coach Lisa Johnson said of the reserves. “We got some steals and (transition) baskets. Until then, it was flat.”
Johnston got the roll on a baseline jumper to end Elma’s second-half drought. Kayli Johnson sandwiched three foul shots around a pair of Johnston free throws to make it 22-13 with 2:11 remaining in the third quarter. Baskets by Peyton Elliott and Johnston and foul shots by Brooke Sutherby and Johnston completed the run that gave the visitors a 15-point bulge entering the final stanza.
Although Hoquiam sophomore reserve Kylee Bagwell scored all eight of her points in the fourth quarter, the Grizzlies never came closer than eight in the final eight minutes.
Already missing one starter (Karlie Krohn) due to illness, the Grizzlies had two others (Rylee Vonhof and Brandi Parson) foul out. Vonhof drew her fifth personal at the 2:28 mark of the third quarter.
“I was happy with our defense and I was very happy with our effort,” HHS coach Mark Maxfield said. “We’ve got to quit fouling, because that’s been our M.O. all year.”
Although off her customary form in shooting, Elma’s Elliott amassed 15 rebounds and four steals. Freshman Quin Mikel collected 12 rebounds and five steals, while Johnston blocked five shots for the Eagles.
Mode had six points for Hoquiam.
Eagles 72, Spartans 26
Never looking back after scoring the game’s first seven points, Elma’s girls blitzed Forks, 72-26, in an Evergreen 1A League opener home game on Jan. 3.
Switching between zone and man-to-man, Elma gave Forks’ ball-handlers fits with either defense.
The Eagles (1-0, 5-6) came up with 18 steals as a team — and probably had at least another half-dozen deflections that didn’t result in turn overs.
Elliott and Johnston formed a formidable outside-inside combo for Elma.
Doing most of her business on drives and in the transition game, Elliott led all scorers with 17 points. The 6-foot Johnston, who demonstrated some nice spin moves, finished with 16 points and nine rebounds. Neither Elliott nor Johnston played during the fourth quarter.
After freshman Quin Mikel opened the scoring with a rebound basket, Elliott hit a 3-pointer and went the length of the court following a steal to give the Eagles a 7-0 advantage with the game barely 90 seconds old.
Although Johnson had emptied her bench by the mid-point of the second quarter, the Eagles led 37-15 at the half. The final 4:28 was played under the 40-point running clock mercy rule.
Johnson was pleased that her team, who played a rugged non-league schedule in December, took care of business early against an overmatched opponent.
“We played to our level, we didn’t play down,” Johnson observed. “We got the intensity up and executed. I can’t ask for more than they did.”
All 10 Eagles who suited up cracked the scoring column. Freshman Kali Rambo tallied 12 points — 10 of those in the fourth quarter. She also swiped four steals.
Elma also controlled the boards, with Mikel pulling down a team-high 14 rebounds.
Freshman Rian Peters topped Forks (0-1, 1-7) with 14 points.
On Tuesday, the Eagles hosted traditional rival Montesano. Results of that game were not available when The Vidette went to press.
Elma 7 8 13 12 — 40 Hoquiam 5 5 3 12 — 25
Elma (40) — Elliott 6, Sutherby 3, Neary, Mikel 9, Johnston 13, Olson 1, Johnson 3, Heller 3, Rambo 2. FG — 11-39 (.282). FT — 17-26.
Hoquiam (25) — Mode 6, Jump 5, Hernandez 4, Parson, Vonhof 2, Bagwell 8, German, Jade Cox, Jordan Cox. FG — 10-58 (.172). FT — 4-11.
JV — Elma 53, Hoquiam 33.
Forks 7 8 5 6 — 26 Elma 16 21 17 18 — 72
Forks (26) — Olson, DeMatties 8, Peters 14, Baar, Woodruff, Rowley, Hoaglund 2, Kratzer 2, Rondeau. FG — 9-38 (.237). FT — 6-8.
Elma (72) — Elliott 17, Sutherby 2, Neary 3, Mikel 8, Johnston 16, Rambo 12, Bieker 3, Heller 5, Johnson 3, Olson 3. FG — 23-71 (.324).FT — 20-28.